Call for submissions: Infectious diseases as emergent properties of land systems

Related GLP Member: Daniel Müller, Darla Munroe

Global change, including land-use change and the extension of settlements and urban areas, have elevated burdens from vector-borne diseases for humans (Franklinos et al., 2019). In particular, the conversion of natural habitats to human-dominated landscapes through agricultural expansion and the increasing intensification of land use have affected the balance between wild animals and humans, resulting in increasing pressure from zoonotic diseases for humans (Gibb et al., 2020).

There has been a solid tradition of studying disease outbreaks as a phenomenon related to shifting land systems, including changes in human-wildlife interactions, transnational movements of people and commodities, urbanization and conversion of natural landscapes  (Peckham & Sinha, 2017), and climate change impacts (Lambin et al., 2010). We know for instance that land-cover modifications and forest fragmentation exacerbated the 2014 Ebola outbreak because of more movements of people over larger distances and closer city connections to the countryside (Rulli et al., 2017).

The COVID-19 outbreak is proving to be one of the largest global challenges in over a century, with human-environment dimensions ranging from consumption of exotic animals, the intensity, or spatial interspersion, of urban and natural landscapes, the role of air pollution in exacerbating illness, transportation (commuting and tourism) of people and resulting spatial spread of illness across the rural-urban gradient, among others.

The Journal of Land Use Science features state of the art conceptual frameworks and methods for studying disease outbreaks in the context of land-system science, particularly due to urgency of the topic, as well as the need for land scientists to inform larger public debate.

We are seeking original submissions, which can range from full-length research articles to short communications. Authors are also welcome to serve as guest editors, and organize a group of papers toward a special issue or section.

More information:

Co- Editors
Daniel Müller - Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), Germany,
Darla Munroe - The Ohio State University, USA,


Franklinos, L. H. V., Jones, K. E., Redding, D. W., & Abubakar, I. (2019). The effect of global change on mosquito-borne disease. The Lancet Infectious Diseases19(9), e302–e312.

Gibb, R., Redding, D. W., Chin, K. Q., Donnelly, C. A., Blackburn, T. M., Newbold, T., & Jones, K. E. (2020). Zoonotic host diversity increases in human-dominated ecosystems. Nature584(7821), 398–402.

Lambin, E. F., Tran, A., Vanwambeke, S. O., Linard, C., & Soti, V. (2010). Pathogenic landscapes: Interactions between land, people, disease vectors, and their animal hosts. International Journal of Health Geographics9(1), 54.

Peckham, R., & Sinha, R. (2017). Satellites and the New War on Infection: Tracking Ebola in West Africa. Geoforum80, 24–38.

Rulli, M. C., Santini, M., Hayman, D. T. S., & D’Odorico, P. (2017). The nexus between forest fragmentation in Africa and Ebola virus disease outbreaks. Scientific Reports7(1), 41613.